West Ham United are not looking to make youngster Reece Oxford’s loan move to Borussia Monchengladbach permanent, report fansite Claret & Hugh.
The 19-year-old joined the Germans on a season-long deal over the summer and last week sporting director Max Eberl floated the possibility of purchasing him outright.
The official Bundesliga website quotes him as saying that ‘exploratory talks are underway’ between the two sides.
However, a source at West Ham has confirmed that the plan is still for Oxford to spend the campaign with Gladbach before returning for pre-season with the Hammers next summer.
Touted as a potential first-team star during his academy years, the defender became the club’s youngest ever player when, aged just 16,when he started a Europa League qualifying match against Andorran outfit Lusitanos in July 2015.
He was again named amongst the starters for the Premier League opener at Arsenal in August of that year, winning widespread praise in a surprise 2-0 win for the Irons.
However, he would feature in only a further six league matches that term and in 2016-17, after failing to make a domestic appearance up to January, he was loaned out to Championship side Reading.
That move proved fruitless as Oxford was limited to just five outings for Jaap Stam’s men across his four-month stay.
A similar story was unfolding at Gladbach this season but the teenager has started the last two fixtures, including the 3-1 win over Hamburg on Saturday.
The West Ham hierarchy will be hoping that he features more regularly for the remainder of the campaign and comes back ready for senior duty.
Oxford has enormous potential but needs more consistent first-team exposure if he is to continue his development and reach the levels that are widely expected of him.
Many fans would have predicted that the academy graduate would be a staple of the Hammers line-up by this point, but he is still young and has time to make the grade.